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Since I have met Jason, I have found his opinions of the web very interesting.  This is a perfect example of why you should follow him on twitter.  Great vision of what is to become mainstream in years to come.

Clearly defining segments of something as complex as the Social Web is a bit like trying to explain how men and women think; half of all people will most likely disagree with you. But will that stop us? Never.

The 5 Spheres is a way to illustrate the diversity of opportunities that exists for businesses on the Social Web. Internet marketing campaigns should always seek to explore which spheres will work best for their brand. The research behind the spheres helps them decide where to invest their resources within social media.

5 Spheres of Social Media by the Stratius Group

Networking

Social Networking of the 5 Spheres of Social Media

Broad social networking is what most people think of when they think “social media”. Myspace has captured the attention of the world with its widespread adoption by young online users and could be credited with much of the rampant growth the social web enjoys today.

The Social Networking Sphere includes all sites that are mainly geared around people meeting one another in a broad sense. These sites allow people to connect for various reasons, such as friendship, dating, resources, and careers. Most sites within this sphere will touch multiple other spheres as they try to provide as many valuable social media tools as possible to their users.

Examples:Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Meetup

Publishing

Social Publishing of the 5 Spheres of Social MediaPublishing, sharing and the promotion of various media is the focus within the Social Publishing Sphere. This includes the large subcategory of blogging, specific media sites for sharing video or photos, and reference sites featuring community generated knowledge.

Subcategories: Blogging, Micro Blogging, Music, Photography, Reference, Video

Examples: Youtube, Flickr, Last.fm, Wikipedia, Squidoo, WordPress, Twitter

Linking

Social Linking of the 5 Spheres of Social MediaSharing links to articles and other content, very often for promotion, is the priority of sites within the Social Linking Sphere. Many of these sites are referred to as “social book marking” sites, but this term looses accuracy since most of these sites are now geared towards sharing links, or the promotion of content to other users, as opposed to just saving them for later recall.

Even a somewhat pure book marking site like Delicious.com is commonly used to promote links to others. Many of these sites utilize some type of accumulated voting value to promote the “most viewed” or “most liked” content for others to see.

Subcategories: Link Sharing, News Sharing

Examples: Mixx, Reddit, Stumble, HubDub, Newsvine

Interactive

Social Interactive of the 5 Spheres of Social MediaVirtual, gaming, and crowdsourcing networks fill the Social Interactive Sphere. The focus of these networks is on dynamic interaction with others. The interactive portion can be a virtual 3D world that mimics our own, large gaming environments, or communities where users work together to solve problems and create goods and services.

Subcategories: Crowdsourcing, Social Gaming, Virtual Communities

Examples: Second Life, NameThis, Webkinz, Mosio, Threadless

Niche

Social Niche of the 5 Spheres of Social MediaMicro-focused networks that can really fall within or across many of the 5 spheres. Niche networks will begin to create much more valuable hyper-local online community content. But geography is just one section of niche. Sites form around very unique interests, from TV shows to sports and beyond.

Examples: Kirtsy, Ning, My Church, Passport Stamp

Jason Keath is Social Media Consultant in Charlotte, NC experienced in internet marketing strategy, advertising, design, and blogging. Network with Jason on Twitter at @jakrose.

5 Spheres of Social Media | © Copyright the Stratius Group

By the way.  Comments are allowed for this one!!

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